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Old 04.10.2010, 19:38
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Dutch anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders goes on trial

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11464025 I've been getting into Dutch politics ever since running into some dutch english blog that got me all interested. And I'm the most left-wing guy most can meet, but even I think this is wrong. Yes he spreads lies and falsehoods, but I think that should be his right.
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Old 04.10.2010, 20:31
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Re: Dutch anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders goes on trial

There's a world of difference between free speech and incitement to hatred.
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Old 04.10.2010, 20:42
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Re: Dutch anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders goes on trial

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There's a world of difference between free speech and incitement to hatred.
but what exactly does incitement to hatred mean? Half of the football chants we use every weekend could fall under the category. I don't agree with all his politics but I think he is well within his rights.
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Old 04.10.2010, 20:44
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Re: Dutch anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders goes on trial

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11464025 I've been getting into Dutch politics ever since running into some dutch english blog that got me all interested. And I'm the most left-wing guy most can meet, but even I think this is wrong. Yes he spreads lies and falsehoods, but I think that should be his right.
So do you think that spreading lies and falsehoods with the intent of hurting other people should be his right? I don't know enough about the Dutch interpretation of free speech, am more familiar with the US - but saying things to make others hate and possibly become violent against another group of people (e.g., Muslims) is not protected under free speech. Wilders lies to increase hatred of a particular group of people.

I think that some of his statements about Islam (I pulled these fromm the BBC quotes) - a retarded culture, that it is a violent culture, that the Koran should be banned like Mein Kampf (and thus likening Hitler to Isalm) are examples of incitement to hatred. But it's a subjective measure, and certainly debatable.

Also, he's a bit of a hypocrite. He's against dual nationality, but his wife holds two passports. Did you know he's also part Indonesian? For all of his anti-immigration speech, he's got an immigrant background.

I have a friend who teaches school in the Hague. She was telling us that kids who are immigrants are afraid when they hear Wilders talk - they worry that they will be made to leave the Netherlands, and they worry that people will turn against them.
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Old 04.10.2010, 21:12
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Re: Dutch anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders goes on trial

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I think that some of his statements about Islam (I pulled these fromm the BBC quotes) - a retarded culture, that it is a violent culture, that the Koran should be banned like Mein Kampf (and thus likening Hitler to Isalm) are examples of incitement to hatred. But it's a subjective measure, and certainly debatable.
How is that incitement to hatred? He is allowed to have an opinion on a set of beliefs. He didn't say round them up and burn them. On the other hand, one could say it does no good for social cohesion to be labelling a large minority with such words.

Seems to me people around here seem to think one can't have negative opinions on religion, culture, so on. I can't belive I am about to say it, cuz I hate it when people say it, but this truly is PC gone overboard.

Surely there are better examples of why he is being tried. And the context of his pronoucements.

I do note the irony of him defending his freedom of speech and on the other hand saying the Koran should be burned. Too many hyprocritcal nutters in the news these days.
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Old 04.10.2010, 21:16
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Re: Dutch anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders goes on trial

I guess you need to specify what he has said that is different from that strong atheist in the UK saying religion in general is stupid.

Or me for example saying that the Abrahamic religions are based in absolute nonsense.

Is it becase he attacked people rather than their ideas? Is it becase he hounded them in some manner?
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Old 04.10.2010, 21:21
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Re: Dutch anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders goes on trial

The guy is "out there" and he does not only dislike Islam but foreigners. Unfortunately, some Dutch people seem to think he is the answer to their problems...not many thank goodness.
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Old 04.10.2010, 21:22
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Re: Dutch anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders goes on trial

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There's a world of difference between free speech and incitement to hatred.
I don't think there's a "world of difference". There might be a difference somewhere but it's often pretty hard to see.
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Old 04.10.2010, 21:25
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Re: Dutch anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders goes on trial

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How is that incitement to hatred? He is allowed to have an opinion on a set of beliefs. He didn't say round them up and burn them. On the other hand, one could say it does no good for social cohesion to be labelling a large minority with such words.

Seems to me people around here seem to think one can't have negative opinions on religion, culture, so on. I can't belive I am about to say it, cuz I hate it when people say it, but this truly is PC gone overboard.
It appears that the trial is controversial as well as Wilders. On one hand, you can argue that as a public figure, he should have some lattitude to bring up debate. On the other hand, how to draw the line between distasteful speech and hate speech? I think his words go a little beyond having a negative opinion, but even that is an opinion.

No, he doesn't say round them up and burn them.

Is it just his opinion when he says that the Koran should be banned, it is like Mein Kampf and it incites Muslims to violence? I don't know the answer. And unfortunately, I'm just reading translations into English from Dutch. But I think between statements like that and the film he produced about Muslim culture - a judge in A'dam required the trial, AFAIK.
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Old 04.10.2010, 21:31
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Re: Dutch anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders goes on trial

If anyone had actually bothered to read the linked article, they would have read that "the trial is setting a precedent", and that dutch judges are quoted as saying that "in a democratic system, it is in the general interest to draw a clear line on the limits of hate speech"

So we won't know - at least in a Dutch context - until the verdict is handed down, whether it's free speech, or hate speech.

OK, carry on proselytising, everyone!
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Old 04.10.2010, 21:32
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Re: Dutch anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders goes on trial

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If anyone had actually bothered to read the linked article, they would have read that "the trial is setting a precedent", and that dutch judges are quoted as saying that "in a democratic system, it is in the general interest to draw a clear line on the limits of hate speech"

So we won't know - at least in a Dutch context - until the verdict is handed down, whether it's free speech, or hate speech.

OK, carry on proselytising, everyone!
I did read the article, but thank you for clearing that up.
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Old 04.10.2010, 21:33
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Re: Dutch anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders goes on trial

I read the article, but thanks Mum. Debate on the issue is fine or do you only believe in what judges tell you.
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Old 04.10.2010, 21:38
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Re: Dutch anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders goes on trial

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Debate on the issue
"It's hate speech."

"No, it's not, it's free speech."

"No, it's not, it's hate speech."

"No, it's not, it's free speech."

"No, it's not, it's hate speech."

"No, it's not, it's free speech."

"No, it's not, it's hate speech."

"No, it's not, it's free speech."

"No, it's not, it's hate speech."

"No, it's not, it's free speech."

"No, it's not, it's hate speech."

"No, it's not, it's free speech."

"No, it's not, it's hate speech."

"No, it's not, it's free speech."

"No, it's not, it's hate speech."

"No, it's not, it's free speech."

"No, it's not, it's hate speech."

"No, it's not, it's free speech."

"No, it's not, it's hate speech."

"No, it's not, it's free speech."

"No, it's not, it's hate speech."

"No, it's not, it's free speech."

"No, it's not, it's hate speech."

"No, it's not, it's free speech."

"No, it's not, it's hate speech."

"No, it's not, it's free speech."

"No, it's not, it's hate speech."

"No, it's not, it's free speech."

"No, it's not, it's hate speech."

"No, it's not, it's free speech."

"No, it's not, it's hate speech."

"No, it's not, it's free speech."

"No, it's not, it's hate speech."

"No, it's not, it's free speech."

"No, it's not, it's hate speech."

"No, it's not, it's free speech."

"No, it's not, it's hate speech."

"No, it's not, it's free speech."

"No, it's not, it's hate speech."

"No, it's not, it's free speech."

"No, it's not, it's hate speech."

"No, it's not, it's free speech."

"No, it's not, it's hate speech."

"No, it's not, it's free speech."

"No, it's not, it's hate speech."

"No, it's not, it's free speech."

"No, it's not, it's hate speech."

"No, it's not, it's free speech."

"No, it's not, it's hate speech."

"No, it's not, it's free speech."

"No, it's not, it's hate speech."

"No, it's not, it's free speech."

"No, it's not, it's hate speech."

"No, it's not, it's free speech."

"No, it's not, it's hate speech."

"No, it's not, it's free speech."

"No, it's not, it's hate speech."

"No, it's not, it's free speech."

"No, it's not, it's hate speech."

"No, it's not, it's free speech."

"No, it's not, it's hate speech."

"No, it's not, it's free speech."

"No, it's not, it's hate speech."

"No, it's not, it's free speech."

"No, it's not, it's hate speech."

(That's enough debate. Ed.)
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Old 04.10.2010, 21:38
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Re: Dutch anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders goes on trial

Wilders was not answering questions, just talking...(troll anyone?) then the *genius* judge told him that "this was typically him, starting arguments and then just leaving" so the defense are arguing the judge has already taken sides...Could the judge have been any sillier?
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Old 04.10.2010, 21:51
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Re: Dutch anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders goes on trial

I will not comment on the hate speech/free speech part as I know that my views are not compatible with the US definition of it any way and we could discuss it for ages as Jim has lined out.

But I have the feeling that Wilders comes across a bit like the SVP here. I have lived in the Netherlands before and I can tell you that he is very different in many ways: He is not a xenophobe who hates everything foreign and wants to keep his home country to the Dutch the way Blochers guys are arguing... he has spend some times in Israel (and loves the country), has a Hungarian wife and has otherwise pretty normal standpoints... but he has a real Islam thing going on and as far as I know is the trial on his movie - which makes the point that all Muslims are terrorists.

You know what: Watch it yourself and decide weather or not this is spreading hate or not:

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Old 04.10.2010, 22:06
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Re: Dutch anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders goes on trial

I don't think Wilders is capable of a rational or reasoned debate on Islam, instead he relies on crude caricatures and preying on people's most base fears. Its probably no coincidence that his popularity is enjoying a surge in these tougher economic times when people feel the need for a scapegoat. All of this reeks of the same sort of demonisation we saw in the 30's and 40's, and if we're not prepared to learn from history we're damned to repeat it.
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Old 04.10.2010, 22:19
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Re: Dutch anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders goes on trial

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I don't think Wilders is capable of a rational or reasoned debate on Islam, instead he relies on crude caricatures and preying on people's most base fears. Its probably no coincidence that his popularity is enjoying a surge in these tougher economic times when people feel the need for a scapegoat. All of this reeks of the same sort of demonisation we saw in the 30's and 40's, and if we're not prepared to learn from history we're damned to repeat it.
While I agree I would like to add that Muslims in the Netherlands on the other hand do not become the scapegoat by chance: There is apparently a pretty active extreme minority in the larger cities, there has been the murder of Theo van Gogh and there have been multiple rather serious death threats... you know, I cannot just wash it as easily away as the fear mongering in Switzerland. After all does a SVP leader not really need the same amount of protection as Wilders and there are no public death threats by Swiss Muslims against the people behinde the minaret initiative or similar AFAIK...
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Old 04.10.2010, 22:22
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Re: Dutch anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders goes on trial

It is true that Wilders has a Hungarian wife, with dual nationality. He's made some comments that suggest he's against dual nationality for other Dutch citizens.

I think of him more like Pat Robertson - the US "Christian" commentator, who blamed the Haiti earthquake on vodoo or some such thing, and is always blaming natural disasters on homosexuality - I think hurricanes or some such thing. But in the US, at least, Robertson is still allowed to yammer on, freedom of religion and all.
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Old 04.10.2010, 22:27
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Re: Dutch anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders goes on trial

After some years in Amsterdam, I can only warn you about reading dutch politics without getting into the intern tensions since the murder of Theo van Gogh. Hirsi Ali (or what ever her real name is) did not say very different things about islam either... and she can not be considered as neo-racist right wing, she is a somaali refugee.

Is Wilders racist? Nobody knows. He may be serious or just playing a political game enjoying the fame and the populistic victime role. But he sounds clearly obsessed by the "nature" of islam culture, and not by facts of life about who is doing what in real life.

How to deal with such a man? I don't know... going on trial is perhaps not the best idea, but it will at least put him straight as far as dutch law is concerned. He has been playing for a long time with limits of freedom of speech. To get the opinion of judges whether he is still on the democratic side after dutch definition of it could be handy.
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Old 04.10.2010, 22:33
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Re: Dutch anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders goes on trial

We call it a feedback loop in science. Crazy Wilders spouting silliness, then crazy Muslims who can't take any criticism without reacting crazy. And so on.
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